This movie shows the reality of many Indian households where men can do anything and get away with it easily – even physical abuse! This movie cuts across every strata of society. Love Matters condemns domestic violence and gives Thappad it’s stamp of approval for shining a spotlight on this issue.
Amrita (Tapsee Pannu) and Vikram Sabharwal (Pavail Gulati) are by all accounts a happily married couple. Vikram is a high flying corporate superstar while Amrita, a trained classical dancer, plays a homemaker by choice. Her gharelu life primarily revolves around taking care of her diabetic mother in law (played by Tanvi Azmi) and supporting her husband’s almost fanatical ambition to rise to the top.
When Vikram doesn’t get the dream job in London all his frustration and anger comes out on Amrita in the form of a glass shattering thappad at a party in their home. The slap has repercussions for the couple and all those connected to them. Her mum-in-law and her own mother try to brush off the incident with very typical statements that you hear in Indian households; such as ‘Mian –biwi main hota hai kabhi-kabhi’.
Vikram’s feeble apologies include buying Amrita a diamond bracelet and taking her out for a fancy dinner but it seems meaningless to Amrita.
As she moves back with her parents, her brother Karan (Ankur Rathee) and mother Sandhya (Ratna Pathak Shah) want her to reconcile with Vikram. However she finds support in her father, Jayant played by Kumud Mishra and Swati, Karan’s girlfriend played by Nalia Grewal. Love Matters loves the adorable bond between father and daughter, and the strength he provides without ever overpowering her.
Amrita realizes she doesn’t love Vikram anymore and hires divorce lawyer Nethra ( Maya Sarao) to fight her case. Nethra warns Amrita that things can get ugly in a legal battle and is surprised that Amrita is making such an effort ‘all for one thappad’. Amrita’s reply, ‘Usne mujhe maara pehli baar, nahin maar sakta,’ deserves a proper Love Matters standing ovation.
Eventually Amrita gives Vikram an earful and asks him to bring it on in court because she can handle all the fake allegations he throws at her. A Love Matters seeti toh banta hai ji! Amrita gets the divorce without any more strife.
Now time to focus Love Matters lens on 1 thing we loved and 1 thing we hated:
When Sunita, the help at the Sabharwal residence comes late to work, she says her husband beat her as usual and without batting an eyelid Amrita and her go about their daily routine. Love Matters hates how rampant domestic violence is in the real world and how everyone thinks it’s so normal! When one of Vikram’s colleagues comments ‘When you’re truly in love, thodi bahut maar peet toh is expression of love only na’, it is disturbing to hear but it is a true reflection of a mind-set that requires some serious ‘rebooting’.
We give this movie 3 massive Love Matters hearts, especially for Amrita’s monologue in the end where she shares she put her own dreams on hold because that is what she was was taught by her mother. She blames herself as well for letting that happen and in the end all she wants is to be happy and have self-respect. It is the defining moment of the film.
All the family members take this to heart and seek forgiveness from Amrita in their own way. It finally dawns on Vikram that he was wrong and he apologizes to Amrita and says ‘Amu, ab main tumhara pyaar kamana chahata hoon,’ leaving us with hope for the future even though they have finalized their divorce.
As for the ratings: Thappad gets only hearts and all 3 of them for its sensitive portrayal of domestic violence and marriages that are mostly determined by what the husband wants. And a clear message, ek bhi thappad nahi maar sakte!
In Love Matters Movie (LM) reviews, movies are analysed for how they have portrayed Love, Sex and Relationships. The movie that shows LM-style romance will get LM Hearts! And the film that loses sight of consent, judgment or rights, it will meet the LM Monster!